DC Trade Solicitations for February 2023 - Batman/Spawn Deluxe, Flash movie tie-ins, Sandman Mystery Theatre Compendium and Nightmare Country, DCeased: War of Undead Gods, Batman by Zdarsky, Deathstroke Year One, Multiversity: Teen Justice

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Well — checks internet — apparently the new Flash movie is scheduled for June 23, 2023, and DC seems to be gearing up in the DC Comics February 2023 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations, at least a little bit, with trades of the new Flash: Fastest Man Alive tie-in miniseries arriving, along with new collections of the 1989 Batman movie adaptation and Flashpoint (and thus, verily, between these three, the whole plot of the movie). Based on Black Adam and this, seems DC’s on a “couple of trades and a box set of the same” kick for their new movies, which seems fine with me for as long as it works.

Plenty good “regular series” trades this month, including Naomi: Season Two, Joshua Williamson’s Robin Vol. 3, Deathstroke Inc. Vol. 2, and Tom Taylor’s latest (and last?) DCeased volume. Sandman Mystery Theatre might finally be getting the full collection we’ve all been waiting for, and I’m jazzed Sandman Universe is continuing such that I have a reason to read those original post-Dark Nights: Death Metal volumes after all.

Oh, and Batman/Spawn fans get a treat or a trick, depending on how you look at it, but it might be enough to get me to read these myself …

Let’s take a look at the full list.

Batman Vol. 1: Failsafe Hc

In hardcover in March, the first collection by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez. Collects issues #125-130.

Batman Vol. 5: Fear State TP

The paperback collection of the final Batman event by James Tynion, collecting issues #112–117.

The Batman Who Laughs: The Deluxe Edition HC

Deluxe-size hardcover collection of the miniseries and specials by Scott Snyder, Jock, and Eduardo Risso.

Batman: The 1989 Movie Adaptation TP

Timed for the new Flash movie, this is the immensely well-regarded adaptation of the Tim Burton movie, written by Dennis O’Neil and drawn by Jerry Ordway.

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (New Edition) TP

New paperback printing of the Lovecraft-ian 2000 Elseworlds miniseries written by Mike Mignola, who also drew covers, and Richard Pace, with art by Troy Nixey.

Batman/Spawn: The Deluxe Edition HC

Apparently this collects the brand-new 2022 Batman/Spawn one-shot by Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo, plus the 1994 Batman/Spawn: War Devil #1 by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, and Klaus Janson and the original Spawn/Batman #1 by Frank Miller and McFarlane, with behind-the-scenes art. Which is a great collection, unless just a few weeks ago you bought Batman/Spawn: The Classic Collection, a hardcover that collects just the two original comics. Then this might sting a little bit. Coming in April.

DC vs. Vampires Vol. 2 HC

Second (and final?) hardcover collection by James Tynion, Matthew Rosenberg, and Otto Schmidt; collects issues #7–12.

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods HC

No issues listed, but it seems like this is the entire eight-issue miniseries, completing Tom Taylor’s fantastic trilogy. In hardcover and on sale in September.

Deathstroke Inc. Vol. 2: Year One HC

In paperback in February, the second series collection, written by Ed Brisson. Collects issues #10-15.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive Box Set TP

Collects together the three Flash-movie related books also solicited here — The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, Flashpoint, and Batman: The 1989 Movie Adaptation.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive TP

Collects the three-issue miniseries in paperback that bridges the Justice League movie and Flash. Wouldn’t you call this comics' first foray into the Snyderverse?

Flashpoint (2023 Edition) TP

A reprint, same as earlier ones, timed for the new Flash movie.

Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Verdict HC

Issues #13–17 by Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo, in hardcover in March. Previously this was said to include some/all of the Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary Special, but that's not in the latest solicitations.

I Am Batman Vol. 2 HC

In hardcover in March, the second collection, issues #6-10, by John Ridley, Christian Duce, and Ken Lashley.

Infinite Frontier TP

Paperback of Infinite Frontier #0–6 and Infinite Frontier: Secret Files by Joshua Williamson, following the hardcover.

JSA by Geoff Johns Book Five TP

The fifth large-page-count collection of Geoff Johns' JSA, collecting Hawkman #23–25 and JSA #46–58, being the Princes of Darkness and the Black Adam-focused Black Reign collections.

Legends of the DC Universe: Carmine Infantino HC

In hardcover in March and said to include selections from Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4, All-American Comics #95, All-Star Comics #40, Brave and the Bold #49, Comic Cavalcade #28, Danger Trail #1–4, DC Comics Presents #73, Detective Comics #327, Flash Comics #86 and #90, Flash #112 and #123, House of Mystery #296, Mystery in Space #3, Secret Hearts #8, Secret Origins #17, Sensation Comics #87, Showcase #4, Strange Adventures #205, and Western Comics #73.

Multiversity: Teen Justice TP

It's very fun to see DC using Grant Morrison's "Multiversity" moniker for other stories and letting the concept see light with other creators. Here's Danny Lore and Ivan Cohen's Flash and Teen Justice stories from Multiversity: Teen Justice #1-6, DC Pride 2022, and DC's Very Merry Multiverse #1. There's one other Flash Kid Quick story in DC Pride 2021 that they ought include here too. In paperback in March.

Naomi: Season Two HC

In hardcover, the six-issue Season Two miniseries by Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell. I’ve been streaming the CW series of late to see how it translates.

Power Girl: Power Trip TP

Not particularly sure what prompted this hereabouts, but due in March is a collection of the first 12 issues of the Power Girl series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, along with the four-issue arc from JSA Classified with Geoff Johns.

Robin Vol. 3: Secrets and Shadows TP

The final volume of the Joshua Williamson series, in paperback in March. Collects issues #13–17.

Sandman Mystery Theatre Compendium One TP

In paperback in March, collecting Sandman Mystery Theatre #1–36 and the Sandman Mystery Theatre Annual #1, with an introduction by Patton Oswalt. Collects the previous trades The Tarantula, The Face and the Brute, The Vamp, The Scorpion, Dr. Death and the Night Butcher, and The Hourman and the Python. Given 70 total issues, including some previously uncollected, DC should be able to wrap this up in one more volume.

The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country Vol. 1 HC

Not only am I looking forward to Sandman-related horror by James Tynion, but how wonderful to learn too that it heralds a sequel and other new Sandman Universe titles. Guess those are back higher on my reading list now — and at last a DC imprint with some staying power! In hardcover in April.

The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country Vol. 1 TP

Paperback version of the same, coming in April; collects issues #1–6.

Task Force Z Vol. 2: What's Eating You? HC

Second hardcover by Matthew Rosenberg and Eddy Barrows, collecting the final issues, #7–12.

Review: Mister Miracle by Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber hardcover (DC Comics)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

[A series on post-Jack Kirby New Gods titles by guest reviewer Zach King. Zach writes about movies at The Cinema King and about comics on Instagram at Dr. King’s Comics.]

"Marshall Rogers and I had some free time so they revived Mister Miracle for us […] I guess my only trepidation was, the Fourth World was very identified with [Kirby], and I would be showing him up. But as I say, I was assigned to it by DC.” — Steve Englehart

When the Fourth World went out with a whimper in 1972, it had something like a stay of execution in the Mister Miracle title, which Jack Kirby was allowed to continue for another seven bimonthly issues. Kirby tried to make the titular escape artist more casually superheroic (including the debut of kid sidekick Shilo Norman), but the King couldn’t resist his more cosmic impulses for long. In the final issue, readers were invited to the wedding of Scott Free and Big Barda, with all the forces of New Genesis and Apokolips in attendance. Even Darkseid crashed the wedding party, announcing dramatically, “I am the storm!”

Review: Future State: Gotham Vol. 2: The Next Joker trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Story-wise, Future State: Gotham Vol. 2: The Next Joker is hardly the most complicated book DC Comics is putting out; indeed Next Joker fails in delivering the very thing it promises. But no question that as a manga-influenced black-and-white comic, Future State: Gotham is perhaps the most ambitious title in DC’s line right now, the one most unlike anything else they’re offering. And while Dennis Culver’s story is not particularly complex, he gets the characters' voices pretty well, and there’s a mix of unexpected cameos and character updates and Future State world-building that I adore.

I estimate Future State: Gotham’s only got one more volume to go, but I’m very glad DC took a chance on this.

Review: New Gods by Gerry Conway hardcover (DC Comics)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

[Welcoming back guest reviewer Zach King for a series on post-Jack Kirby New Gods titles. Zach writes about movies at The Cinema King and about comics on Instagram at Dr. King’s Comics.]

“Honestly, I think there was really only one New Gods — the series that Jack did. Everything that followed was a pale imitation of that — including my own stuff.” — Gerry Conway

Any comics fan worth their salt knows that “there came a time when the old gods died,” the famous opening salvo in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Saga. From 1970 to 1974, Kirby wove his New Gods epic across four titles before cancellations and editorial disinterest drove him back to Marvel Comics, from whence he had come. (Kirby had left Marvel after disputes with Stan Lee over creative control; see John A. Morrow’s Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said! for the whole story.)

Review: Refrigerator Full of Heads hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Rio Youers and Tom Fowler’s Refrigerator Full of Heads takes Joe Hill’s original Basketful of Heads and, well, turns it on its head.

What had previously been the mostly realistic story (except for the animate severed heads) of a woman stalked by criminals across an island becomes now something (even) more supernatural, as the story of the magic axe deepends and its utility expands. Even more blood-soaked but also more zany, Refrigerator doesn’t quite capture Basktful’s perfection, but neither is it necessarily trying to.

If we end up with a trilogy, I’d as soon something that hearkens more to the first than the second. But, Refrigerator is fine as a sequel and an expression of a different author’s vision, a satisfyingly madcap entry in the (otherwise ended?) Hill House line.

Review: Titans United trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Given a Titans book that seemed mainly intended to profit off the (well-deserved, but perhaps small) fandom of the HBO Max Titans TV show, but that is not so brave as to be actually set in the TV Titans timeline (so, of uncertain continuity providence, which is often disastrous), and written by an author with few-to-no DC writing credits, I had justifiably low expectations for Titans United.

So I was pleased to find that it was fine, really. There will be no awards for plumbing heretofore undiscovered depths of the Marv Wolfman/George Perez characters, but at the same time, Titans United is refreshing in its simplicity. We neither need to know or care “who is Donna Troy,” nor does Nightwing have to check out in the second issue due to events over in the Bat-books.

Review: Wonder Woman: Evolution hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Ordinarily I’m relative sanguine about bad portrayals of the world’s greatest superheroes. Batman acts the fool under one writer’s pen, there’s surely another story on the way that’ll rectify it, and no doubt the character can withstand it in popular culture anyway.

But Stephanie Phillips' Wonder Woman: Evolution feels like a particularly egregious missed opportunity. Given DC’s glut of miniseries lately, and particularly Black Label miniseries, I continue to think Wonder Woman offers potential for lots of light- to no-continuity offerings — superheroic, mythological, horror, and so on. Evolution is an eight-issue swing-and-a-miss, and with Wonder Woman, one always has to be concerned that that’ll make DC less likely to try again.

Review: Green Arrow/Aquaman: Deep Target trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

I appreciate the creative thinking that went into Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target as a project — these two heroes, neither particularly similar to the other (beside a penchant for facial hair), neither even sharing a cinematic universe, but having debuted in the same comic some 80 years ago, getting their first miniseries together.

The sensible nonsense of it all is wonderful, and writer Brandon Thomas keeps that spirit throughout the book, which sees Green Arrow and Aquaman dealing with time travel, secret moon bases, and rampaging dinosaurs. It is as zany as you might want a comic to be. Which is why it’s so unfortunate that despite the great layers of sci-fi complication that Thomas piles on here, he forgets the most important element — celebrating Aquaman and Green Arrow.

Review: Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 (2021) comic book (DC Comics)

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Sunday, October 30, 2022

I was very happy when DC Comics announced a new Batman: The Long Halloween Special (happy enough to plan a whole “Long Halloween saga” re-read), though I did wonder if creators Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale could recapture the magic in just one issue. There’s precedent, of course, in the single-issue Batman Halloween specials that preceded Batman: The Long Halloween (now collectively known as Haunted Knight) — we’ve come full circle, from the three individual Halloween specials that begot two 13-issue miniseries (and another half as long), which now inspired a special of its own. But could Loeb and Sale do in one issue what they’d previously done best in a baker’s dozen?

[Review contains spoilers]

That answer is no, though I thoroughly enjoyed the Long Halloween Special nonetheless, a return to form after the less impressive Catwoman: When in Rome. Neither Rome nor the special are necessarily mysteries, making them each lesser than Long Halloween and Dark Victory, but the special brings back the gritty Gotham air that Rome lacked, not to mention Long Halloween stalwarts Two-Face and Calendar Man. As a first issue, as the special was perhaps intended to be, the special certainly evokes slipping back in to Halloween’s noir world.

Review: Blue & Gold trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

I was thinking of late how quickly “I remember everything” came and went in the finale of Dark Nights: Death Metal and the start of the Infinite Frontier era. Granted I’m not reading Dark Crisis yet, but if there’s an “everything” that anyone’s remembered outside of Death Metal, I haven’t seen evidence of it yet.

At the same time, Infinite Frontier has brought first Batgirls and now Blue & Gold, so I don’t have all that much to find fault with. Both of these seem like books that, as far back as the New 52 days if not even in the mid-2000s, DC was too much in their own IP to publish these even if the fans wanted them — “Surely three Batgirls would be too confusing for the audience” and “We can’t have Booster and Beetle running around when this here Big 7 is the JLA” (is how I presume the conversations might go).

DC Trade Solicitations for January 2023 - Batman/Superman: World's Finest, Joker Vol. 3, Absolute Dark Nights: Death Metal, Nice House on the Lake Vol. 2, Superman: Warworld Revolution, Batgirls Vol. 2, Adam Strange Deluxe, DC by McDuffie

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Well, the DC Comics January 2023 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations are unremarkable overall, but I’m much happier seeing 23 books on the list instead of last month’s eight! (Even if a handful of them are paperbacks of hardcovers.)

Mostly regular series collections for me this month. I tell you what, the second Nice House on the Lake collection almost got this month’s cover spot, except I’m real excited for Mark Waid’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and whatever the next-next big thing it’s leading in to at DC. Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Batgirls, Swamp Thing, and Joker are all buys for me.

I’m pleased to see Batman: The Dark Knight Detective keep chugging along. I’ll be glad when that series is over not because I’m glad to see it over, but to be satisfied all of those issues are finally collected (do the Super-titles next!). DC Universe by Dwayne McDuffie is a deserved collection, and I adore how Adam Strange: Between Two Worlds brings together stories from across eras into a cohesive whole.

Let’s take a look at the full list.

Absolute Dark Nights: Death Metal

Collects issues #1–7 of the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo event, in Absolute format. Includes "behind-the-scenes art ..., original pencil pages, and a brand-new introduction."

Adam Strange: Between Two Worlds: The Deluxe Edition

I rather wish DC would do more like this for their "minor" characters. This is the Richard Burning and Andy Kubert's three-issue Adam Strange: The Man of Two Worlds 1990 post-Crisis miniseries, Mark Waid's JLA #20-21 from 1998, and Andy Diggle and Pascal Ferry's eight-issue Adam Strange: Planet Heist from 2004 (which I reviewed 16 years ago). Three different creative teams separated by years, but picking up from one another to tell a related story. It's not by any stretch the full modern history of Adam Strange, but it's a good overview of his pre-Flashpoint years. Martian Manhunter could use a collection like this, Red Tornado, etc.

Aquaman & the Flash: Voidsong

Movie star meets movie star in paperback by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. I guess I had some idea this might tie in to Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target, but the creative teams are totally different.

Batgirls Vol. 2

The second collection by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, in paperback in March. I'm not going to spoil the guest starts in this one (as the solicitations do), but I'm very excited and I'm probably going to have to go back and finish reading a series I didn't finish before.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Neighborhood

Paperback collection of Mariko Tamaki’s issues #1034–1039. Per my review, a great premise with a not-as-satisfying ending.

Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 7

Collects Batman #474, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #27, Detective Comics #634-638, #641, and #643, and Detective Comics Annual #4. Batman and Legends are in there as part of the "Destroyer" crossover, which introduced a new-look Gotham in line with the first Tim Burton movie; the annual is an "Armageddon 2001" tie-in. Stories written by Kelley Puckett, Louise Simonson, Peter Milligan, and Alan Grant.

Just for a little comparison, Detective issues #639-640 that aren’t included here are in the Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 5 collection; issue #642 is in the Caped Crusader Vol. 6 collection. Meanwhile, Batman #474, collected here, would have fallen between Caped Crusader Vols. 5 and 6. Caped Crusader Vol. 6 was, I’m pretty sure, the final volume of that series, ending just before the Prelude to Knightfall collection. I’m guessing Dark Knight Detectivehas one more volume to go to end before "Knightfall" and Detective #654.

Batman: The Detective

Paperback of Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert’s six-issue miniseries, following the hardcover. I liked this one, an unexpected Batman Elseworld.

Batman: The Imposter

Paperback, following the hardcover, of the Batman-movie adjacent miniseries by Mattson Tomlin and Andrea Sorrentino. I reviewed Batman: Imposter and thought it was pretty well done.

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha

In hardcover by Mark Waid and Dan Mora, coming in March and collecting issue #1-6.

Birds of Prey: The End of the Beginning

Following the recent Birds of Prey: Whitewater, this is another larger-page-count collection of the original Birds of Prey series. Said to include issues #113-#127, so the original Birds of Prey: Metropolis or Dust and Platinum Flats, give or take a couple issues from elsewhere. Mostly written by Tony Bedard with a couple issues by Sean McKeever; this was after Gail Simone departed with issue #108 and before she returned for the second series.

Blue Beetle: Jaime Reyes Book Two

Second expanded collection of the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle series. This collects issues #13-25 of the original 2006 series, so right on track (previous solicitations for this book seemed to reference issues from the middle of the Rebirth run). Still remains to be seen if the Blue Beetle movie goes ahead and how that might affect this.

Bruce Wayne: Not Super

Just love the offbeat premises of these DC young reader books. In this, by Stuart Gibbs and Berat Pekmezci, Bruce Wayne is the only non-powered kid in a school full of superheroes.

The DC Universe by Dwayne McDuffie

Collects a variety of Dwayne McDuffie's non-Milestone DC work, including Action Comics #847, Demon #26-29, Impulse #60, JLA Showcase 80-Page Giant #1, Batman: Gotham Knights #27, Sins of Youth: Kid Flash/Impulse #1, and Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #33-35, as well as a tribute(s) from the Static Shock Special.

Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington: The Deluxe Edition

Wouldn't mind seeing one of these for each of the Young Animal series. This is the Young Animal Doom Patrol #1-12 and Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1-7 by Gerard Way and Nick Derington, like it says on the tin, though lacking what seems to be the pretty essential Milk Wars material.

Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story

Along with Bruce Wayne: Not Super, another fun premise for a DC YA book — teenage Lois Lane seeing drama in a summer reporting internship, by Sarah Kuhn and Arielle Jovellanos.

The Joker Vol. 3

Final collection of the James Tynion series, issues #10-15, before the series relaunch, coming in February in hardcover.

The Nice House on the Lake Vol. 2

Wait, wait. Did this slip? Not coming in December, but rather in March? That is just too cruel. Being the final collection of the horror series by James Tynion and Álvaro Martínez Bueno, collecting issues #7-12.

The Sandman Book Five

Collects the Sandman Mystery Theatre crossover special, Sandman Midnight Theatre, Sandman: Endless Nights, and seemingly just the prose edition of Sandman: Dream Hunters, though I'm surprised not also the comics adaption.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 3: Warworld Revolution

The next collection by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere, in paperback in February, collecting Action Comics #1043-1046, the Action Comics 2022 Annual #1, and Superman: Warworld Apocalypse. Ends just before the big crossover with Superman: Son of Kal-El.

The Swamp Thing Volume 3: The Parliament of Gears

The final collection of the limited series by Ram V and Mike Perkins, collecting issues #11-16, in paperback in February.

Teen Titans: Robin

Next in the popular YA Teen Titans series by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo. Dick Grayson and Damian are actual brothers here?

Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Villainy of Our Fears

In paperback in February by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, following Trial of the Amazons. This is issues #787-794.

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman the Deluxe Edition

I reviewed Who Is Wonder Woman? in 2008. Coming back into print since Allan Heinberg wrote the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. With art by Terry and Rachel Dodson.

Review: Batman '89 hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

About halfway through Batman '89, I found myself thinking this writer didn’t particularly get the Michael Keaton Bruce Wayne’s voice; shortly thereafter I remembered that the writer is Sam Hamm, verily the screenwriter of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. So maybe what we’re finding here is that, indeed, you just can’t go home again.

I’d read another Batman '89 entry; I’m in favor in principle of the adventures of these characters ongoing. But ultimately I don’t think the six-issue digital-first format served Batman '89 or Superman '78 well. Though something like Batman: Earth One was not significantly shorter than Batman '89 in terms of page count, it seemed like the done-in-one graphic novel format of the Earth One books lent themselves indeed to read like a movie — singular focus, well-defined acts, and so on. Batman '89, in contrast, really reads like a six-issue Batman miniseries, and the ponderousness takes away from the illusion of a movie sequel.1

Review: Superman '78 hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, October 16, 2022

There was a point in time where another good Richard Donner Superman film was what every comics fan wanted, perhaps only rivaled by a another good Tim Burton Batman film, so DC’s recent return to both of these properties is auspicious indeed.

I will go on to say that Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres' Superman '78 is imperfect for a few reasons, though these may have more to do with what I was hoping for than what the creative team delivered. But in terms of the voice of Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane or the particular bow of Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent’s shoulders, Venditti and Torres succeed.

This is certainly close enough to be a satisfactory homage if not necessarily a sequel (which may have been all the team was going for). The best news is that Venditti is working on another, because I expect the only place to go from here is up (up, and away).

Review: Suicide Squad: King Shark trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Though meandering at times, far from perfect, Tim Seeley and Scott Kolins' Suicide Squad: King Shark is what most comics should aspire to be. Certainly just a project intended to capitalize on James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad movie, Seeley not only goes so far as to honor elements throughout King Shark’s almost 30 years (!) of DC Comics history, but also dovetails well enough with his own recent Nightwing run.

It is, again, not perfect, but Seeley commits thoroughly to a silly storyline and never skimps on the genuine emotion. Though the plot is full of anthropomorphized animals — Kamandi would feel right at home — Seeley never treats the characters with a hint of scorn. Where books (and particularly Suicide Squad books) have a tendency to present the characters as objects of ridicule for the audience, King Shark never blinks an eye at portraying a shark-man protagonist. It makes for the best kind of comics, one that immerses itself in the fantastical and tells a compelling story to boot.

Review: Batman: One Dark Knight hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Sunday, October 09, 2022

Among Batman Black Label books that swiftly come to mind — Batman: Last Knight on Earth, Batman: Three Jokers, even Batman: DamnedBatman: One Dark Knight feels the least of these. Undoubtedly a large part of this book is for the purpose of having another Batman book out there with Jock’s art in it, not an unworthy goal by any means, but the plot was perhaps secondary.

And it isn’t even that One Dark Knight is poorly written, because it’s not. There’s the semblance of a good mystery that reveals itself in the end. For a Batman traditionalist, this is a self-contained tale anchored by Batman, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon, the kind of thing that would be worthwhile for a Batman movie fan. There’s enough overlap between the styles of Jock and Andrea Sorrentino that it feels One Dark Knight could sit comfortably on the shelf with the equally movie-friendly Batman: The Imposter, even as they present considerably different Batmen.

But as opposed to the strong authorial voice of Scott Snyder’s Batman: Last Knight on Earth, the callbacks inherent in Geoff John’s Batman: Three Jokers, and the new Bat-world-building of Mattson Tomlin’s Imposter, I was less able to point to a specific vision or something being said about Batman in Jock’s One Dark Knight. The book’s “classic Batman” approach might as easily be its selling point as its downfall, a book that works in the traditional Batman formula but fails to rise above it.

Review: The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

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Wednesday, October 05, 2022

I had high hopes for Matthew Rosenberg’s Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox, so I’m disappointed by the book’s failure to impress. All the pieces are certainly here — a whodunit mystery with the culpit unrevealed until the final pages; elements of a pseudo-one-scene play, somewhere between A Chorus Line, The Usual Suspects, and Rashomon; and a who’s who of Batman villains all thrown together in the same story (heck, you had me at Batman villains meets Usual Suspects).

But it doesn’t manifest, mostly because for all the technical machinations (which themselves aren’t all that impressive), Rosenberg never quite makes the mystery matter; there aren’t the stakes to make who did what to whom emotionally compelling. Rosenberg was also the author of the Grifter story in Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 1, another heist caper that too was better in its setup but fell apart in its denoument.

Which is to say, I’ll be tempering my expectations for the next books I’ll read by Rosenberg1, and that’s not a good thing.

Review: Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow trade paperback

Sunday, October 02, 2022

From its provocative beginnings to its twist of an end, Tom King’s Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is another brilliant deconstruction of a beloved character. King shows from the jump that he understands the tensions inherent in the Kara Zor-El character and he investigates them with skill. The reader ought be seeing their own perceptions challenged just the same as alien forces vie against Supergirl.

Kara Zor-El has had an interesting couple decades in the modern era, with DC Comics clearly unsure at times what to do with her or how to portray her. One interesting facet of Supergirl in the modern era has been an updated view of her tragic origins, bringing real emotion to what might otherwise have been treated with melodrama in the Silver and Bronze Ages. The infant Clark Kent nee Kal-El suffered no loss in Krypton’s destruction except emotional yearning; young Bruce Wayne lost his parents; but teenage Kara is singular among them in having lost her entire civilization, everyone she ever knew, and the planet they lived on. The horror is so often elided because it’s nearly unimaginable.

Review: Robin & Batman hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen are each popular and prolific among the DC Comics set. Together, they’re the team behind the acclaimed Descender from Image (and its sequel, Ascender), which, notably, has recently been optioned for both film and television.

I expect somewhere in there is the reason for the team’s Robin & Batman.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Nguyen. It is, I say more grudgingly, nicely written by Lemire. Indeed, I can step outside myself and say there’s nothing problematic here; Lemire (an accomplished writer I enjoy) offers a nice perspective on Robin Dick Grayson trying to negotiate the really unbelievable world he’s been thrust in upon being taken in by Bruce Wayne. In the way of these “Elseworlds-ish” miniseries, Lemire also does some fun, unexpected juxtaposing of different DC eras and sensibilities.

Review: Superman vs. Lobo hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

DC Black Label titles so far have (entertainingly) used their mature allowances to make the bad worse — more disturbing horror stories, more dystopian situations for our heroes or versions thereof. What Black Label hasn’t done much, however, is use that maturity for comedy, and of course the choice for that is obvious: Lobo1.

And so, Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie, and Mirka Andolfo’s Superman vs. Lobo. It is not, getting right down to it, laugh-out-loud funny, though it is entertaining, and I’d be happy to see Black Label go this route again. I wouldn’t mind another Lobo book sans Superman, or Harley Quinn (or Harley Quinn and Lobo), or Ambush Bug, and so on.

Review: Suicide Squad: Get Joker! hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The same as James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad was a dark, irreverent take on the DC property (perhaps darker and irreverent-er, since Suicide Squad is not usually bright and sunny as a rule), Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev’s DC Black Label Suicide Squad: Get Joker! is equally a funny, dark take on a dark corner of the DC Universe. It’s a Quentin Tarantino movie by way of a Suicide Squad comic, with similarities — if not outright callouts — to Reservoir Dogs, Clockwork Orange, even a bit of Death in Venice.

More and more what I’ve enjoyed about the DC Black Label titles is that they fall into the category, in the old Elseworlds parlance, of “times and places … [that] shouldn’t exist.” No one particularly wants the Adam Strange of Strange Adventures to be the mainstream Adam Strange, but I’m glad that doesn’t prevent that story from being told. In the same way, bad stuff happens in Get Joker!, things it would be unwise for DC to allow to happen in their main universe, but it also allows for some fine interplay between characters and some ideas to surface that I don’t recall seeing before in Suicide Squad.

DC Trade Solicitations for December 2022 - Absolute Batman: Three Jokers, Black Adam — Justice Society Case Files, Aquaman: Andromeda and 80 Years, Monkey Prince, Milestone Compendium Two, Batman Beyond: Neo-Year, Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 4

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Perhaps the skimpiest monthly list in recent memory, the DC Comics December 2022 trade paperback and hardcover solicitations has only eight books on it! For what will be February 2023, that’s a little worrisome (the December 2021 solicitations list had about double this amount), but also the DC Comics November 2022 solicitations had 20 books, so maybe we just chalk this up to the vagaries of shipping schedules than anything else.

Among surprises here is the Absolute Batman: Three Jokers, just because I hadn’t heard it was getting an Absolute (and is this the first original Black Label Absolute?). I’m fine with the copy I have, but if you haven’t read this book before, this is a good way to do so. I’ve been eager to read Ram V’s Aquaman: Andromeda since it was announced, and it remains a thrill that the DC/Milestone “Worlds Collide” crossover will be collected in Milestone Compendium Two.

Tie-ins to the movie with the Black Adam — Justice Society Case Files book, DC’s Monkey Prince series gets its first collection … let’s take a look at the (very short) list:

Absolute Batman: Three Jokers

Considering the weird alt-history of this story (a book that requires both a healed Barbara Gordon and a resurrected Jason Todd, and so in the late 1980s would have been nigh unimaginable), in my review I called Batman: Three Jokers “perhaps the first to truly chart the [DC Black Label] imprint’s way forward.” Based only on memory, maybe this is the first original Black Label title to be reprinted Absolute? It was good, and well-drawn by Jason Fabok — no complaints here.

Aquaman: 80 Years of the King of the Seven Seas: The Deluxe Edition

Another of DC's anniversary hardcovers. The previously solicited contents for this seem way off base, describing a range of 50 to 100 comics, though some of the quirky one-offs named are interesting — JLA: Our Worlds at War #1 and Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Metamorpho/Aquaman #1, for two. But maybe some of this is just covers? The newest solicitation doesn't include contents, so I guess we'll see next Valentine's Day.

Previously said to include Aquaman #0-37; JLA: Our Worlds at War #1; Aquaman #17; Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Metamorpho/Aquaman #1; Adventure Comics #120-137, 232-266, and 269-475; More Fun Comics #73; Aquaman #11-35 and 46-62; two different Aquaman #1s; Aquaman Special #1; and Aquaman_ #25, coming in February 2023.

Aquaman: Andromeda

Ram V writing a DC Black Label horror story starring Aquaman and Black Manta feels like about all I could want write now. Glad to see Black Label branching out beyond just Superman, Batman (and Harley Quinn and the Joker), and Wonder Woman. In hardcover in February. Aquaman is a character I can see starring in a horror title but not a character I imagine is given to being horrified, so I'm curious how this will play out.

Batman Beyond: Neo-Year

In paperback, collecting the six-issue miniseries by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly.

Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 4

Said to be stories of Wight Witch, a new Birds of Prey, and Batman teaming with Aquaman, Plastic Man, the Flash, the Question, Black Adam. In paperback in January. Notably Urban Legends ends this month with issue #23 and a slick character-jam cover.

Black Adam — The Justice Society Case Files

Collects Black Adam - The Justice Society Files: Hawkman #1, Black Adam - The Justice Society Files: Cyclone #1, Black Adam - The Justice Society Files: Atom Smasher #1, and Black Adam - The Justice Society Files: Dr. Fate #1. Indeed this is all in the continuity of the Black Adam movie, though to be sure we could use some secret files to explain the status of the DCU Justice Society. Hopefully the new series will make that clearer, though it's not guaranteed (a movie JSA, however, perhaps puts some legs under the newest JSA series lasting a while).

Milestone Compendium Two

Great to see a second Milestone Compendium, and it finally collects the “Worlds Collide” crossover with the Superman titles (probably no Colorforms cover though). There’s still material for at least another volume or two. Said to collect Blood Syndicate #13–23, Hardware #13–21, Icon #11–21, Shadow Cabinet #1–4, Static #9–20, Steel #6–7, Superboy #6–7, Superman: The Man of Steel #35–36, and Worlds Collide #1, in paperback at the end of January.

Monkey Prince Vol. 1: Enter the Monkey

In hardcover in January. Previous solicitations listed the first six issues of the series and the debut story from DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.

Review: Black Manta trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

I wouldn’t go so far as to say a consistent characterization for Black Manta has been established among DC Comics' writer set. But, between Aquaman writers including Geoff Johns and Dan Abnett, and particularly some good work Sean Ryan did on New Suicide Squad some years back, I’ve long since learned a Black Manta story is worth paying attention to. Not good but not quite evil, often playing to his own unique moral code, a story with Black Manta rarely disappoints.

And so too with Chuck Brown’s Black Manta miniseries, running concurrent with Brandon Thomas' Aquaman: The Becoming and leading in to the Aquamen miniseries. I might ordinarily quibble with an uncharacteristic amount of the supernatural in a Black Manta story (vs. the geopolitics and spy double-dealings of the aforementioned New Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Monsters). But for one, I think Manta David Hyde has come far enough that he can withstand such genre shifts, and for two, Brown does well in making it all work. Artists Valentine de Landro and Matthew Dow Smith are both gifts here, bringing to Manta a gritty minimalist style we might otherwise expect from something like Gotham Central.

Review: Flash Vol. 16: Wally West Returns trade paperback (DC Comics)

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

I found a number of aspects of Flash Vol. 16: The Return of Wally West problematic, at a time when it just doesn’t seem it should be all that difficult to write a workable Flash book. Fortunately, a good amount of that difficulty comes in an interstitial four-parter by Kevin Shinick before new ongoing writer Jeremy Adams takes over, so that much can be dismissed as the foibles of index stories.

Adams' story equally struggles, though it gets better as it goes. I’m tentatively inclined to chalk this up to an incoming writer getting his feet under him, as long as we see some improvement next time around. Some inspired moments toward the end of Return make me hopeful.

[Review contains spoilers]

It takes a bit for the premise of Return’s main story to become clear, but I relaxed into it once I realized Adams' is essentially doing Superman: Time and Time Again Flash (Wally West)-style — hero bounced through the timestream encountering different DC Comics eras. Dinosaurs are pretty well de rigueur these days, and Adams having Wally embody Impulse in the future was just plain confusing (since Bart never was Impulse in the future).

Review: Aquaman: The Becoming trade paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

I’m no less impressed with writer Brandon Thomas after Aquaman: The Becoming; what promising things we saw in Thomas' Future State: Aquaman (collected in Future State: Justice League and also here) continue. The six-part Becoming is less frenetic and bloody than the two-issue Future State story, but still with plenty of surprises, Easter eggs, and espionage machinations. I like my Aquaman stories best when the political stakes echo a world just slightly removed from our own, and Becoming has that — and a likable Jackson Hyde, to boot.

[Review contains spoilers]

For reasons not made wholly explicit, Aquaman Arthur Curry is training Aqualad Jackson Hyde here to be the new Aquaman. Whether that’s an anachronism in the run-up to Dark Crisis or a result of Arthur becoming a new father is never quite clear (or that Thomas' shows Arthur and Mera have an ongoing tendency to leave Jackson guarding the shore while they go off to canoodle).

Review: Justice League Dark: The Great Wickedness trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, September 04, 2022

I was uncharacteristically down on Ram V’s Justice League Dark: The Great Wickedness when I finished it. In general Ram V’s Dark has been superb, as good as if not exceeding great runs before him by James Tynion and Jeff Lemire.

Flipping back through the book, I see it’s not quite that bad after all. The beginning moves at a brisk pace, and I like especially seeing the Justice League Dark and Justice League proper working together, moving in more of the same circles than usual. I think it’s a slowdown in the middle and the rather sudden conclusion that left me bored and befuddled respectively, unfortunate in what is Ram V’s final Justice League Dark volume.

[Review contains spoilers for Justice League Dark and Dark Nights: Death Metal]

The book kicks off well, blending the internal (the recent re-death of Zatanna’s father Zatara) and the external (Wonder Woman perishing in Dark Nights: Death Metal) to find the Dark in a dark place. A routine case sees Zatanna and John Constantine encountering a newly resurrected Jason Blood, which leads to a really fun roundtable with the main League, Justice League Dark, and Etrigan the Demon cracking wise. Again, I love seeing these two teams as one — Detective Chimp at the table with Green Arrow and Black Canary — and Ram V also uses dialogue and references to Brian Michael Bendis' Justice League, making it all really feel of a piece.

Review: Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I’ve been reading comics long enough to know that even despite Jon Kent being called “Superman” here, taking ownership of some pretty big shoes, one day his father will take over the mantle again — that we’ll only go so long, even, with Superman’s identity made public, with his job at the Daily Planet seemingly all but forgotten, before something reels us back to the status quo. As it’s been before, it will be again.

But in the meantime, in Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth, writer Tom Taylor makes a very compelling case for new Superman Jon Kent, a Superman who does things differently than his predecessor not out of angst or rebellion, but because of the changing attitudes of the world. Both here and in Nightwing, Taylor depicts the optimistic hero, the activist hero, and Taylor appears to have cracked the code such that his heroes are actively, in-story activists, not just espousing such as a narrative aesthetic. Has Taylor captured the post(ish)-pandemic superhero zeitgeist? Will it spread? Can it last?

I’m not sure, but the list of characters I’d like to see Taylor tackle just keeps getting longer.

Dark Crisis, Young Justice, Tales From Dark Crisis collections, Batman: One Bad Day hardcovers, Batman/Superman: World's Finest by Waid, Detective Chimp, Batman vs. Robin, Steel 30th Anniversary, Gotham Academy compendium, more in DC Comics Spring 2023 solicitations

Saturday, August 27, 2022

It was a nine-month wait between the DC Comics collections catalog two seasons ago and the last most recent one; I’m very glad that it was only five months between that one and the DC Comics Spring 2023 trade paperback and hardcover catalog solicitations. Hopefully that means we’re back on track.

Big news of course this time around is the Dark Crisis hardcover, coming June 2023; that’ll be accompanied by the Dark Crisis: Young Justice and Tales From Dark Crisis collections. I’ve been purposefully trying to steer clear of Dark Crisis details, so I don’t know if that’s all the event-branded material that needs collecting or not — if they do get it down to three collections, that’s a lot of restraint. And yeah, that’s a long time to wait, especially since I think Dark Crisis wraps early next year; we’ll have to see what happens there.

Another curiosity is that apparently DC will be re-releasing the Batman: One Bad Day single-issue one-shots as hardcovers — so far one a month beginning in February 2023 and kicking off with Batman: One Bad Day: The Riddler. That’s weird, and what seems like something of a money grab, taking 64-page comics and simply publishing them again as individual hardcovers — I could only hope some notable story about each of the villains is included to pad these out. At the same time, had DC just started there, and been releasing standalone Batman villain spotlight original graphic novels one a month for 2023, I’d have been all over this as a great idea and a win for trade-waiters. So I’m a bit excited about this nonetheless.

As I mentioned for the DC Fall 2022 catalog, what I notice in these listings is almost no collections of anything older than early post-Crisis on Infinite Earths material with few exceptions; there is nothing specifically branded with Golden or Silver Age. And no, that other collections series is not continuing yet, and not that one either. All of this I know will be quite concerning to some. DC is still pumping out regular series collections, but by and large the plan seems to be selling collections as another way to read the regular series, not collections as particularly archival or bringing uncollected material into the modern light.

Whether that is still a symptom of global supply shortages or DC’s new normal (by choice or necessity), it might be too soon to tell, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Let’s take a look at the full list.

Absolute Death Metal

Collects issues #1–7 of the Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo event, in Absolute format.

Adam Strange: Between Two Worlds

I rather wish DC would do more like this for their "minor" characters. As far as the description goes, this seems to be Richard Burning and Andy Kubert's three-issue Adam Strange: The Man of Two Worlds 1990 post-Crisis miniseries, Mark Waid's JLA #20-21 from 1998, and Andy Diggle and Pascal Ferry's eight-issue Adam Strange: Planet Heist from 2004. Three different creative teams separated by years, but picking up from one another to tell a related story. It's not by any stretch the full modern history of Adam Strange, but it's a good overview of his pre-Flashpoint years. Martian Manhunter could use a collection like this, Red Tornado, etc.

Aquaman & The Flash: Voidsong

Movie star meets movie star in paperback by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing.

Aquaman: Andromeda

Ram V writing a DC Black Label horror story starring Aquaman feels like about all I could want write now. Glad to see Black Label branching out beyond just Superman, Batman (and Harley Quinn and the Joker), and Wonder Woman. In hardcover in February.

Batgirls Vol. 2

The second collection by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, in paperback in March.

[See the latest DC trade solicitations.]

Batman Vol. 1: Failsafe

In hardcover in March, the first collection by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez. Should start with issue #125.

Batman Vol. 5: Fear State

Paperback collection of James Tynion’s issues #112–117.

Batman vs. Robin

In hardcover in July by Mark Waid, spinning out of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and the latest Robin series.

The Batman Who Laughs Deluxe Edition

Deluxe-size hardcover collection of the miniseries and specials by Scott Snyder and Jock.

Batman: Beyond the White Knight

In hardcover in June 2023, collecting Batman: Beyond the White Knight #1–8 and Batman: White Knight Presents: Red Hood #1–2.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Neighborhood

Paperback collection of Mariko Tamaki’s issues #1034–1039.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Fear State

Paperback, following the hardcover, of Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora’s Detective Comics #1040–1046 and Batman: Secret Files: Huntress.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4 Riddle Me This

Issues #1059-1061 by Mariko Tamaki and marking the end of Tamaki’s run on the series, ahead of Ram V.

Batman: Fear State Saga

Paperback of the comprehensive collection, including Batman #112-117, Batman Secret Files: The Gardener #1, Batman Secret Files: Peacekeeper #1, Batman Secret Files: Miracle Molly #1, Batman: Fear State: Alpha #1, and Batman: Fear State: Omega #1.

Batman: Fortress

In hardcover, collecting the eight-issue miniseries by Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson. Can’t say I really understand what this is about, but Batman manning the Fortress of Solitude is enough of a start for me.

Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City

In hardcover in July 2023 by Evan Narcisse and Abel, leading in to the Gotham Knights video game and apparently introducing Runaway, the Batman of the 1800s.

Batman: One Bad Day: Bane

Another of the One Bad Day one-shots in hardcover, in July 2023, by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter.

Batman: One Bad Day: Catwoman

In hardcover in June 2023 by G. Willow Wilson and Jamie McKelvie.

Batman: One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze

Arriving in hardcover in May 2023 by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Scalero.

Batman: One Bad Day: Penguin

In hardcover in April 2023, Other History of the DC Universe's John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli on Penguin.

Batman: One Bad Day: The Riddler

So it seems like DC intends to take each of the "Batman: One Bad Day" 64-page one-shots and re-release them as individual hardcovers, starting with this one. The page count says 88 pages; not sure if that's simply the title page and variant covers or if DC might include like the character's first appearance or some other definitive story in these books. Not like we haven't seen issues like Action Comics #1000 go straight from single issue to collection, but this seems a little strange; might've been cool to see DC release these as hardcover "trades" right off. This one's by Tom King and Mitch Gerads.

Batman: One Bad Day: Two-Face

In hardcover in March 2023, by Mariko Tamaki and Javier Fernandez.

Batman: Reptilian

Paperback of the six-issue miniseries.

Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 7

Collects Batman #474, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #27, Detective Comics #634-638, #641, and #643, and Detective Comics Annual #4. Batman and Legends are in there as part of the "Destroyer" crossover, which introduced a new-look Gotham in line with the first Tim Burton movie; the annual is an "Armageddon 2001" tie-in. Stories written by Kelley Puckett, Louise Simonson, Peter Milligan, and Alan Grant.

Just for comparison, Detective issues #639-640 that aren’t included here are in the Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 5 collection; issue #642 is in the Caped Crusader Vol. 6 collection. Meanwhile, Batman #474, collected here, would have fallen between Caped Crusader Vols. 5 and 6. Caped Crusader Vol. 6 was, I’m pretty sure, the final volume of that series, ending just before the Prelude to Knightfall collection. I’m guessing Dark Knight Detectivehas one more volume to go to end before "Knightfall" and Detective #654.

Batman: The Detective

Paperback of Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert’s six-issue miniseries, following the hardcover.

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (New Edition)

New paperback printing of the Lovecraft-ian 2000 Elseworlds miniseries written by Mike Mignola, who also drew covers, with art by Troy Nixey.

Batman: The Imposter

Paperback, following the hardcover, of the Batman-movie adjacent miniseries by Mattson Tomlin and Andrea Sorrentino. I reviewed Batman: Imposter and thought it was pretty well done.

Batman: The Knight Vol. 1

Interesting that the hardcover for Chip Zdarsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s Batman: The Knight is listed as Vol. 1, even though it seems to collect the whole 10-issue miniseries. Coming in July 2023, after Zdarsky’s Batman Vol. 1: Failsafe arrives in March.

Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 5

Not much in the way of contents listed, but we’re somewhere in the late teens of this title by now, including appearances by fellow movie stars Aquaman, Black Adam, and Flash; possibly also Etrigan the Demon and the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest Vol. 1

In hardcover by Mark Waid and Dan Mora, coming in March.

Birds of Prey: The End of the Beginning

Following the recent Birds of Prey: Whitewater, this is another larger-page-count collection of the original Birds of Prey series. Said to include issues #113-#127, so the original Birds of Prey: Metropolis or Dust and Platinum Flats, give or take a couple issues from elsewhere. Mostly written by Tony Bedard with a couple issues by Sean McKeever; this was after Gail Simone departed with issue #108 and before Simone returned for the second series.

Black Adam Vol. 1

In paperback, surprisingly, by Christopher Priest and Rafa Sandoval, coming in May.

Blood Syndicate: Season One

In hardcover, collects issues #1–6 of the relaunched series by Geoffrey Thorne and ChrisCross.

Blue Beetle: Jaime Reyes Book Two

Second expanded collection of the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle series. Solicitation is talking about issues from the middle of the Rebirth run when the first book didn't even finish the pre-Flashpoint material, letting alone the New 52 run, so probably that's not right. And at this point I think this volume's publication depends a lot on whether the Blue Beetle movie still goes ahead.

Catwoman Vol. 2

Second volume by Tini Howard, in paperback in May.

Dark Crisis

In hardcover in June 2023, so we only have to wait … about another year for this one to arrive. Collects the seven-issue event by Joshua Williamson.

Dark Crisis: Young Justice

In hardcover, currently scheduled for June 13, 2023, the week before the actual Dark Crisis hardcover (so that might change), collecting the six-issue tie-in by Meghan Fitzmartin.

DC Pride 2022

Said to collect DC Pride 2022, featuring a Teen Justice story by Danny Lore and Ivan Cohen, and also the DC Pride: Tim Drake special, which itself I believe collected the Tim Drake stories from Batman: Urban Legends #4–6 and #10 with a brand-new story. In hardcover in May.

DC Universe by Dwayne McDuffie

Collects a variety of Dwayne McDuffie's non-Milestone DC work, including Action Comics #847, Demon #26-29, Impulse #60, JLA Showcase 80-Page Giant #1, Batman: Gotham Knights #27, Sins of Youth: Kid Flash/Impulse #1, and Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #33-35.

DC vs. Vampires Vol. 2

Second hardcover collection by James Tynion, Matthew Rosenberg, and Otto Schmidt; collects issues #7–12.

DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War

Hardcover collection of the six-issue companion miniseries by Matthew Rosenberg and Neil Googe.

DC: Mech

In hardcover in July, collecting the six-issue miniseries by Kenny Porter and Baldemar Rivas.

Deathstroke Inc. Vol. 1

Paperback, following the hardcover, and collecting issues #1–7 and a story from Batman: Urban Legends #6.

Deathstroke Inc. Vol. 2

In paperback in February, the second series collection by Joshua Williamson.

Detective Chimp

Well here’s a collection that seems too long in coming. Collects Amazing World of DC Comics #1, DC Comics Presents #35, DC Special #1, Tarzan #231 and #234–235, Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4 and #6–46, and Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #6. I wouldn’t have balked at something a little more modern in there. Dig the one-line summary, “Bruce isn’t the only sleuth who knows how to swing across Gotham!”

Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington: The Deluxe Edition

Wouldn't mind seeing one of these for each of the Young Animal series. This is the Young Animal Doom Patrol #1-12 and Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1-7 by Gerard Way and Nick Derington, like it says on the tin.

Duo

Hardcover collection of the six-issue Duo Milestone miniseries by Greg Pak and Khoi Pham, reimagining the classic Xombi series as part of the new Milestone's "Earth-M" line.

The Flash Vol. 18

In paperback in late June. Exact contents aren’t given, but the placeholder cover suggests this will include the Dark Crisis tie-in issues.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive

As time until the Flash movie grows longer, if it’ll ever come out at all, this collects the three-issue miniseries in paperback that bridges the Justice League movie and Flash. Wouldn’t you call this comics' first foray into the Snyderverse?

Flashpoint (2023 Edition)

Doesn’t seem to be anything new in this paperback, just reprinting the collection.

Future State: Gotham Vol. 3

In paperback in April, the next Future State: Gotham collection by Dennis Culver.

Gotham Academy

Scant on details but it sure would be great if this were all the issues of Gotham Academy and Gotham Academy: Second Semester in one volume, plus whatever extras they want to throw in there. I first reviewed Gotham Academy back in 2015.

Harley Quinn Vol. 3

Issues #13–17 and some/all of the Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary Special by Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo.

History of the DC Universe

The original and still the best attempt to present DC’s history as a cohesive whole. In hardcover in June.

I Am Batman Vol. 1

Paperback, following the hardcover, collecting issues #0–5.

I Am Batman Vol. 2

In hardcover in March, the second collection by John Ridley and Christian Duce.

Icon & Rocket: Season One

In paperback, following the hardcover, and collecting issues #1–6 by Reginald Hudlin and Doug Braithwaite.

Infinite Frontier

Paperback of the six-issue miniseries by Joshua Williamson, following the hardcover.

The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox

Paperback, following the hardcover, of the mystery series by Matthew Rosenberg and Jesus Merino.

The Joker Vol. 2

In paperback in July, following the hardcover, this is issues #6–9 and the 2021 annual.

The Joker Vol. 3

Likely collecting the final issues by James Tynion before the series relaunch, coming in February in hardcover.

JSA by Geoff Johns Book Five

The fifth large-page-count collection of Geoff Johns' JSA, collecting Hawkman #23–25 and JSA #46–58, being the Princes of Darkness and Black Reign collections.

The Jurassic League

Daniel Warren Johnson and Juan Gedeon’s inspired Justice-League-as-dinosaurs miniseries, in hardcover in April.

Justice League Vol. 1: Prisms

In paperback in April, following the hardcover, and collecting Brian Michael Bendis' issues #59–63.

Justice League Vol. 3

Brian Michael Bendis' final Justice League issues. This seems most likely to be issues #72-74 and the Justice League 2022 Annual.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez

In hardcover in April and said to collect Batman #272, #311, #313, #314, #318, #321, #336-337, and #353, Batman '66: The Lost Episode #1, Batman Confidental #26-28, Batman: Family #3, Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table #1-2, Batman: Gotham Knights #10, Batman: Reign of Terror #1, DC Comics Presents #31 and #41, DC Special Series #21, Detective Comics #454, #458-459, #483, and #487, Best of the Brave and the Bold #1-6, Brave and the Bold #164 and #171, Joker #4, Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3, and World's Finest Comics #244, #255, and #258.

Legends of the DC Universe: Carmine Infantino

In hardcover in March and said to collect All-American Comics #95, All-Star Comics #40, Comic Cavalcade #28, Danger Trail #1-4, DC Comics Presents #73, DC Special #1, Detective Comics #327 and #332, Flash Comics #86, #90, and #92, House of Mystery #296, Mystery in Space #3, Secret Hearts #8, Secret Origins #17, Sensation Comics #87, Showcase #4, Strange Adventures #205, Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #89, Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog #4, Brave and the Bold #49, Flash #112 and #123, and Western Comics #73.

Multiversity: Teen Justice

It's very fun to see DC using Grant Morrison's "Multiversity" moniker for other stories and letting the concept see light with other creators. Here's Danny Lore's Flash and Teen Justice stories from Multiversity: Teen Justice #1-6 and DC Pride 2022; that last one's also by Ivan Cohen, who wrote the included Teen Justice story from DC's Very Merry Multiverse #1. There's one other Flash Kid Quick story in DC Pride 2021 by Lore that they ought include here too. In paperback in March.

Naomi Season Two

In hardcover, the six-issue Season Two miniseries by Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell.

The New Champion of Shazam!

In hardcover in May, collecting the four-issue miniseries by Josie Campbell and Doc Shaner.

The Nice House on the Lake Vol. 2

Wait, wait. Did this slip? Not coming in December, but rather in March? That is just too cruel. Being the second collection of the horror series by James Tynion and Álvaro Martínez Bueno.

Nightwing Vol. 3

The third series collection by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo, in hardcover in April.

Nightwing: Fear State

In paperback, following the hardcover, and collecting issues #84–88 and the Nightwing 2021 annual.

Poison Ivy

In hardcover (how far Poison Ivy has come!) by G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara, collecting the first six-issues of the expanded-to-12 miniseries.

Power Girl: Power Trip

Not particularly sure what prompted this hereabouts, but due in March is a collection of the first 12 issues of the Power Girl series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, along with the four-issue arc from JSA Classified with Geoff Johns.

Robin Vol. 3

Seemingly the final volume of the Joshua Williamson series, in paperback in March. Should collect issues #13–17.

The Sandman Book Five

Collects the Sandman Mystery Theatre crossover special, Sandman Midnight Theatre, Sandman: Endless Nights, and one or more editions of Sandman: Dream Hunters.

The Sandman Mystery Theatre Compendium One

All right, now we’re talking. No contents listed, but this is a paperback, coming out in March, and “compendium” usually means lots of issues — like, maybe they could do 35 issues a book and get this out in two. Very hopeful.

The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country Vol. 1

Glad to see Sandman Universe isn’t dead yet, and you’d think with the new TV show that DC ought find even more to do with it. Yes, I’d read Corinthian written by James Tynion, thank you.

Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands

In time for the new movie, paperback of the 12-issues by Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham.

Shazam: The Power of Hope

Also in time for the movie, new hardcover printing of the illustrated prose story by Paul Dini and Alex Ross.

Shazam!: The Monster Society Of Evil

Also also in time for the movie, in hardcover, collecting the four-issue miniseries by Jeff Smith.

Static: Season One

Paperback, following the hardcover, collecting all six issues by Vita Ayala.

Static: Shadows of Dakota

The next six issues of Vita Ayala’s Static series (“Season Two”), in hardcover in June. I wonder what the internal conversation is where DC finds serial “season” miniseries do better than, say, ye olde Robin, Robin II: Joker’s Wild, Robin III: Cry of the Huntress, etc.

Steel: A Celebration of 30 Years

This seems a highly worthy collection for a great character with a lot of staying power. Now, what’d really be great would be if we could get some new collections of the Steel run by Christopher Priest or even a new Christopher Priest series, but hey, it’s a start. Collects Action Comics #4 (Grant Morrison’s New 52 Steel), Adventures of Superman #500 (if not the whole book then John Henry Irons' pre-“Reign of the Supermen” debut), Convergence: Superman: Man of Steel #1–2, JLA #17, Justice League Unlimited #35, Steel_ #1, Steel #34, Suicide Squad #24, and Superman: The Man of Steel #22, #100, and #122.

Suicide Squad: Get Joker!

Paperback, following the hardcover, of the Black Label miniseries by Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev.

Superman: Action Comics Vol. 3

The next collection by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere, in paperback in February.

Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth

Paperback collection of the first six issues by Tom Taylor and John Timms, following the hardcover.

Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 3

Hardcover by Tom Taylor, coming in May. Anecdotally, looking at this list, it seems like DC’s hardcover-to-paperback rates have slipped a bit — the paperback of the previous volume used to arrive with the hardcover of the next volume, and now it’s more like the paperback from two volumes back arrives with the next hardcover.

Superman: Space Age

I don't know what this is, except it's Mark Russell and Mike Allred, it takes place during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it seems to follow Superman through U.S. history. I'm in. In hardcover collecting the three-issue miniseries.

Superman: The 85th Anniversary Collection

Seemingly a reprint volume, maybe in lieu of a collection of new stories.

The Swamp Thing Volume 3: The Parliament of Gears

Likely the final collection of the limited series by Ram V and Mike Perkins, in paperback in February.

Sword of Azrael

Wow, who’d have thought we’d ever have a new Sword of Azrael miniseries? And not even Batman branded. Collects the miniseries by Dan Watters and Nikola Cizmesija, in paperback in July.

Tales From Dark Crisis

In hardcover on June 20 (same day as the Dark Crisis collection itself). No word on contents, but possibly this is the “World Without” specials or some other of the various regular-title tie-ins.

Task Force Z Vol. 2: What's Eating You?

Second hardcover collection by Matthew Rosenberg and Eddy Barrows, most likely finishing out the miniseries.

Teen Titans Academy Vol. 2: Exit Wounds

Paperback, following the hardcover, due in June and said to collect issues #6–12. There’s only 15 issues total, so I wonder if we’ll come to find that the hardcover (due in October) contains a little more than solicited.

Teen Titans: Robin

Next in the popular YA Teen Titans series by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo. Dick Grayson and Damian are actual brothers here?

Top 10 Compendium

Collects America's Best Comics Special, Smax #1-5, Top Ten #1-12, Top Ten: 49'ers, Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #1-5, and Top Ten: Season 2 #1-4 by Alan Moore, Zander Cannon, and Gene Ha.

Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Villainy Of Our Fears

In paperback in February by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad.

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? The Deluxe Edition

This is far enough outside the mainstream that I don't quite understand DC's constant reprinting it, but neither is there anything particularly wrong with it, written by Allan Heinberg and drawn by Terry and Rachel Dodson. I reviewed Who Is Wonder Woman? back in 2008.

Young Justice: Targets

In paperback in July, collecting the six-issue animated-series tie-in comic by Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones.